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Things to do in Hanover

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Herrenhausen Gardens
The Great Garden is one of the most important baroque gardens in Europe, captivating tourists from all over the world. The main attraction here is the recently rebuilt Herrenhausen Palace, home to the new Herrenhausen Palace Museum. The Garden itself presents a dazzling array of romantic fountains, exotic plants and striking sculptures. Events such as the international fireworks competition and the Small Festival in the Great Garden regularly attract large numbers of visitors. The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen are Hannover's most famous attraction, a reflection of aristocratic savoir-vivre for more than 300 years. The centrepiece is the 17th-century Great Garden, one of the best-preserved baroque gardens in Europe. Be sure to visit Herrenhausen Palace there. Rebuilt to its original splendour and boasting cutting-edge, multimedia facilities, the palace now hosts more than 160 events every year as a scientific venue and innovation hotspot for the whole of Lower Saxony – very much in the tradition of a famous former resident: the universal scholar Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. The Great Garden is a place to lose oneself in, to marvel at the magnificent Great Fountain, which is 82m high (the largest of its type in Europe) and the Grand Cascade, to be enchanted by artist Niki de Saint Phalle's magically decorated grotto. And during the annual international firework competition, to watch transfixed as world-class pyrotechnics transform the sky above into a dazzling sea of trailing sparks.
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Berggarten
Once, Berggarten was a mulberry tree plantation for the Elector's silkworm farms. Today it is a treasure house of botanic diversity. Here, taking a close look at details pays rich rewards, whether enjoying the beauties of nature or following the botanist’s researches into the intricacies of the plant world. Over the centuries, plants from the four corners of the earth have found their way to Berggarten and some of them, like the African Violet or the Flamingo Flower (Anthurium), were the first of their kind to be seen in Europe. Berggarten is well worth a visit at any season, and over the years its appearance is constantly changing and astonishing visitors with new worlds of colour and atmosphere.
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Museum August Kestner
The Museum August Kestner is named after August Kestner (1777-1853), who collected a considerable number of Egyptian and Greco-Roman cabaret as well as other works of art during his time as Hanoverian ambassador in Rome. The Museum August Kestner as the oldest municipal museum in the state capital of Hanover is enclosed by a listed glass-concrete façade (1961). Inside are still parts of the staircase and the side wings and almost the entire entrance facade of the original first museum building. As the only building in Hanover and far away, the Museum August Kestner shows 6000 years of applied art in four collection areas: Ancient and Egyptian cultures, applied art from the Middle Ages to modern design and one of the largest collections of coins and medals in northern Germany. Several special exhibitions per year also inform about special topics and place objects of the collection areas in a special context.
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Maschsee
Maschsee is a maritime paradise right in the city centre! 190 acres of recreational area! Relaxation, walks, restaurants, jogging, parties – the Maschsee Lake means going on holiday right next door. Many people enjoy pursuing a variety of water sports here on sunny days. The favourite meeting place is by the Torchbearer on the North Shore. The Maschsee Lake offers the people of Hannover a recreational area in the heart of the city, both on the water and all around it: for yachting, canoeing and pedal-boating, for joggers, skaters and strollers. On the banks of the lake you will find the celebrated Sprengel Museum Hannover. Right opposite, you can stroll through the idyllic Maschpark to reach the magnificent New Town Hall. Travelling up to the 97-metre high Town Hall dome in the unique curving lift is an experience in itself: from the top, you can see as far as the Deister Hills. And every visitor who is not already convinced of the fact can clearly see from here that Hannover is Germany’s greenest city!
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Hanover Zoo
Visit Hanover Adventure Zoo! Rose-pink flamingos by the roaring waterfall, rare Rothschild giraffes towering above you, Barbary lions following every move of antelopes on white desert sand. Look closely at the eyes of lions, tigers and polar bears, and experience apes almost up close. In the adventure zoo you are in the realm of the animals! Large glass panes allow close-to-the-line contact, which touches despite separation. Enjoy visiting your favorite animal - personally, up close. Or you can say goodbye to pelicans, Bennett kangaroos, goats and sheep in their walk-in facilities. And get to know zoo animals better during the daily shows and feedings.
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Hanover New Town Hall
Many visitors are quite astonished to hear that the magnificent building they are standing in front of is, actually, the "new" town hall. Its size and grand architectural style make it look more "historical", like a relict from more majestic times, when Hannover used to be a kingdom. The town hall itself was, however, ceremonially opened on 20 June 1913, after twelve years building time. "And it is all paid in cash, your Majesty", as the then Mayor of Hannover, Heinrich Tramm , proudly announced to the emperor Wilhelm II, present at the opening ceremony. The proud figure of ten million Mark was the amount the municipality was willing to pay for its new splendid building, erected upon 6026 beech-tree piles. It was designed by the architects Eggert and Halmhuber. The top of the dome of the New Town Hall reaches 97,73 m (320 ft.). The diagonal lift in the town hall's dome is unique in the world. At a 17-degree angle it covers the 43 metres up to the gallery at the top of the dome. From this vantage point one can enjoy a marvellous view of the whole city, even as far as the Harz Mountains when visibility is good.
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Sea Life Hannover
Tropical underwater worlds – unique in Hannover: Take a trip beneath the waves in the Tropical Sea Life Aquarium. Fascinating underwater worlds: Sea Life in Hannover offers 3,500 square metres of habitats spanning the local Leine River to the Caribbean up to the Amazon. Whether it’s mussels, freshwater stingrays or piranhas, Germany’s first tropical Sea Life is home to over 3,500 underwater creatures in 37 pools. The Ocean Pool’s eight-metre-long glass tunnel separates visitors by just a few centimetres from sharks and turtles. In the rain forest in the tropical plant dome, a breath-taking ramble takes you over the unique glass bridge – and Cuban crocodiles lurk in the water below.
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Sprengel Museum
The Sprengel Museum Hannover, which focuses on German Expressionism and French Modernist painting, is one of the most important museums of 20th and 21st-century art. It was founded after the collection of Dr. Bernhard und Margrit Sprengel was donated to the City of Hanover in 1969. The new building was opened in 1979. Works by Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, Pablo Picasso and Kurt Schwitters, as well as by groups of artists such as Die Brücke and the Blauer Reiter set the scene. Art after 1945 is represented in an impressive fashion by works by artists ranging from Gerhard Richter to Bruce Nauman. A special attraction are the rooms designed by artists, including the reconstruction of Kurt Schwitters’ legendary ‘Merzbau’, El Lissitzky’s ‘Abstract Cabinet’ and James Turrell’s light spaces. Particular emphasis in the collection is placed on photography. The Sprengel Museum Hannover unites the collections of modern art in what was formerly known as the Städtische Galerie and the Landesgalerie.